The Breakdown

My loves, and others,

After having written a series of posts on subjects like my rules of dating, a relationship with God, neglect and belief, new life and exposure, Valentine's Day, what I am looking for in a wife, and then my most recent post on Jesus, I come to you with this post, which I hope will wrap some of my thoughts together into a nice little bow.  This is a reflective (and somewhat repetitive) post.  In order for this to make any sense, you will have to have read all of those blog posts.  I'm going to work backwards and start with what I am looking for.

My Future Wife

When I initially started writing my post on what I was looking for in a wife, I wasn't just detailing my preferred attributes in a woman, I was describing an actual person that is entering my life, according to God.  It isn't just some arbitrary list of characteristics, it's an actual human being.  Have I met the person?  I cannot say.  I do not know.  However, in all of my successes and failures, the Lord has been preparing me for her.  That post is a literal description of my future wife.

Another reason I wrote that post was to protect myself.  In the past, all the way up until the present, I had not been very selective in regards to the women I dated.  I just fell for a pretty face.  Part of me was proud enough to believe that I could make things work with anyone, because I have this big loving heart and pure intentions.  I thought I could just unlock any heart that came my way and make them happy.  Of course, that definitely was not the case.  Eventually, having looked back on my experiences, I understood the traits my future wife would need in order to deal with my faults, compliment my strengths, and be compatible with me.  I also understood, based on previous experiences, what choice habits a person would have to have so I knew what to keep an eye out for.

The first and most important thing on that list is a love of God, and acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  God is supreme and must always be our first priority.  Foremost, I understand that I cannot have a healthy and happy relationship with someone who has not fully embraced and committed to God.  I understand that we are all sinners, but sinners saved by grace, blessed with the Holy Spirit, having willfully and faithfully put their lives in God's hands, know love, peace, and patience.  We come to know God.  In knowing and praising Him, we can suffer the world with contentment.  Our priorities are different.  Life is not about worldly things but about service to God and others.  It's about righteousness, justice, compassion, and above all else, love.  A person committed to God, Jesus, who is dating, courting, marrying a person who is not committed to God would suffer unnecessary relational tension.  We should have the same beliefs.  We should have the same goals.  Those goals are: serving God, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, and walking the straight and narrow path that leads to life.

In the following paragraphs, I (again) took elements from personal experience, and the general framework of a lot of my preferences were connected to my seven rules of dating:

Rule One: enter with a positive attitude or don't enter at all.
Rule Two: be the person that expresses kindness and care, and uplifts.
Rule Three: communicate clearly, listen, ask and answer questions.
Rule Four: be accepting and patient of others and compliment their weaknesses with your strengths, accept their strength in your weaknesses.
Rule Five: be yourself, but your best self.
Rule Six: enter with the best and purest intentions, to love and be loved.
Rule Seven: be a unit and maintain a team mentality. Let no obstacle divide you, but overcome and persevere, and conquer together, and with the Lord.

I felt it important to detail the need for direct and honest criticism.  I am not perfect.  She will not be perfect.  We are sinners saved by grace.  When either of us are at fault, out of alignment with God, we are to keep the other person in line.  That honest line of communication will keep us both following a reasonable set of co-defined relationship rules, and God's Word.

After having written all of that, I ended it on a lighter note and with summarized wedding vows.

Relationships, and our First

A lot of my posts relate to relationships.  Half are about people.  Half are about God.  Question: how much of the bible is about relationships?  Most of the bible is about either our relationship with God or other people.  The bible shows us our priorities from the beginning to the end.  From the alpha to the omega.  The bible begins with God.  Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."  "In the beginning, God," Pastor Andy George has repeated.  That is our life.  That is our story.  That is our first relationship.

God is our first wife/husband, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, forever.  From conception until the end of time, God loves us.  God is with us.  God is loyal, loving, committed, no matter what.  When things get better, we are blessed; we praise God.  When things get worse, we praise God, because that worse is making us stronger.  When we get richer, we are blessed; we praise and give (through tithe and gifts to others).  When we are poorer, we praise and don't stop giving.  In sickness, we rest our faith in God and praise Him for what remnants of health and life that remain.  In health, we are blessed; we praise God that we are healthy.  We love and cherish God, appreciating all that He is and does.  We are grateful, always, forever.

In my blog post on Valentine's Day, I made a point that while we are single, we are to focus on the Lord and the tasks He has set for us.  I referenced first Corinthians.  Being single is a gift, because it gives us time with the Lord.  As we would treat a wife or husband, so we treat the Lord, as in spending our time with the Lord, getting to know the Lord, focusing our thoughts on the Lord, giving praise and service.  Once we have a healthy relationship with the Lord, we can have a successful and healthy relationship with others.

Let's take my rules of dating and tweak them.

Rule One: Enter a relationship with the Lord with a positive attitude, faith.
Rule Two: Be the person that vocally and internally expresses admiration for the Lord.
Rule Three: Read the Bible.  Pray, pray, pray!  Communicate your feelings, thoughts, ask questions, do not assume, but listen.  (Listen, listen, listen!)
Rule Four: Understand that our God is patient and working on you.  He loves you, and understands you're not perfect.  He will compliment your weaknesses with His strength.
Rule Five: Be yourself, because God knows who you are, but be your best self.  Do not serve or pursue Him halfheartedly.  But be inspired to be improved.  Be your best for God.
Rule Six: Enter a relationship with God with the right intentions.  Not so you can get blessings, gifts, worldly things.  Enter a relationship with God because you love Him.  Because He loves you.  Because Jesus died so that you may live.  It is an honor to have a relationship with God.
Rule Seven: Have a team mentality.  You are NOT alone, EVER.  God is with you.  Work with God.  You are a unit.  Let no obstacle divide you, but overcome and persevere, and conquer with the Lord.

A key point to be made is that we are never single.  From our beginning, we are married.  We are either married to God, or to whoever we are blessed with.  But even when we are blessed with a wife or husband, God is there, always, still committed, constantly with us.

The One Who Loves Us

I wrote another blog post about neglect and belief.  It primarily touched on the fact that God is the one who loves us, and we neglect Him.  I have been, and have felt, neglected.  A lot of time, in the past, I was pursuing someone who just did not love me.  Sound familiar?  God is pursuing us, constantly.  Do we truly love Him?

We can all look back on a time when we poured our all into a person.  There were points when we were ready to empty our pockets, pour out our souls, lay our bodies and lives on the line for someone, and got slighted.  There were points when we communicated with the person and that person was non-responsive, or barely responded.  You call the person on a Tuesday and are fortunate to hear from them on a Friday, if not next week.  You might get to see that person once a week.  Or perhaps, quite the opposite, you see and talk to that person quite regularly, but it's mostly about them.  It's not about what you want.  It's always about what's in that person's interest.  It's about what that person can get out of you.  It's about you treating them.  It's about them touching your body, fulfilling their needs.  To make matters worse, some of those people are unfaithful.  They want to have their cake and eat it, too.

We are like that to God.  It's about us.  We pray when we want something.  We're asking for this and that.  If things go well, we pat ourselves on the back.  If things don't go well, we wonder where was God?  We don't go to Him before we make bad decision, but we sure do go to Him when things don't work out.  Some pursue God (Father, Son, Spirit) not because He loves us, and died in the flesh innocent for our sins, but so we can prosper in the world.  We want worldly things.  As Pastor Chuck Milian describes it, "We treat Him as an ATM."  We also treat Him as a vending machine.  I want this.  So, I'll do this, and this, and this, and God will give me what I want.  Nah.  God loves you.  God knows what you need.  He knows what you want.  He knew your motivations before your need even presented itself.

And in spite of all of this, God loves us, because He is the good spouse.  God is the one who loves us in spite of our actions and intentions.  He knows that we are sinners.  Some are saved by grace, some not.  He loves us equally.  He gives equally.

What we must do is take our own personal feelings and memories of being neglected, or rejected, and think of God.  Not in the sense that it hurts Him.  It hurts us.  All the good you wanted to do for that person you loved.  All the love you wanted to give that person.  That was from God.  There was so much more you could have given that person.  There was so much more you were for that person.  That person missed out on you.  You are missing out on God by not having as close a relationship as possible.

Remember, in the beginning, God.  In the beginning of your day, God.  In the beginning of work, God.  In the beginning of school, God.  In the beginning of your meal, date, event, God.  If it weren't for Him, you wouldn't have any of that.  In the end of your work, thank God.  At the end of your school day, thank God.  At the end of the your meal, date, event, praise God.  At the end of your day, thank, praise, appreciate God.  Good or bad, you lived, and God was with you the entire day.  He loved you at the beginning of the day, throughout the day, and at the end of the day.  He was with you from beginning to end.  The perfect, dedicated spouse.

Take that list of preferences you have for your future wife or husband, and be that person for God.  Take that list of things you love about your current wife or husband or boyfriend or girlfriend, and be that person to God.  Be that wonderful thing you want for yourself, for God.  Follow the rules you set for others yourself, for God.  I say this to myself, and to you.

Closing Thoughts

One of the goals of my blog is to inspire better relationships between myself and God, others and God, others and others, and others and myself.  I want people to be better to themselves and others.  I want to be understood.  I also want people to be better with God, to have the closest relationship they can with God.  I want you to embrace a new life, refined, cleansed, and restored in Christ.

Only through the Lord will there ever be lasting peace, love, and happiness.  That is what I want for you, all of you.

With that said, may the Lord touch your heart, soften it, and inspire you into a closer relationship with him, in Jesus's holy name.  Amen.

(As always, I may amend or correct this blog later.)

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